October Aliette de Bodard Newsletter

Seven of Infinities release, and lockdown

New release

This month’s big news is that Seven of Infinities, the newest Xuya book, is now out in the world! It can be read independently of the other ones, but it’s a thematic sequel to the award-winning The Tea Master and the Detective: two mismatched people investigate a murder and find themselves relating to each other more than they should. Spaceship wrecks, teahouses & dumplings, sapphic shenanigans!

The inspiration for this one is Arsene Lupin, the gentleman thief who was the French answer to Sherlock Holmes (he shares a lot of traits with Raffles). I changed his gender to female, made him into a spaceship, and then added the partner: Vân, an upright scholar with strict morals but also a few secrets of her own…

Vân is a scholar from a poor background, eking out a living in the orbitals of the Scattered Pearls Belt as a tutor to a rich family, while hiding the illegal artificial mem-implant she manufactured as a student. 

Sunless Woods is a mindship—and not just any mindship, but a notorious thief and a master of disguise. She’s come to the Belt to retire, but is drawn to Vân’s resolute integrity.

When a mysterious corpse is found in the quarters of Vân’s student, Vân and Sunless Woods find themselves following a trail of greed and murder that will lead them from teahouses and ascetic havens to the wreck of a mindship--and to the devastating secrets they’ve kept from each other.


“a tightly written jewel of a story, intense and full of feeling, and I recommend it highly.”

Liz Bourke, Locus

“With this lush, immersive sci-fi tale, de Bodard (The House of Sundering Flames) delves into a world as gritty as it is ethereal… [R]eaders will be swept away by the vivid prose, intrigue, and romance of this intricate tale. This fascinating, unusual story is sure to entrance.”

Publishers Weekly

“It's apparent that the many accolades bestowed upon Aliette de Bodard are well-deserved. If you value stories that are truly creative and original, you will almost certainly enjoy this read.”

Blase Ciabaton, Goodreads

Cover art: Maurizio Manzieri

Ebook: Subterranean (ePub and mobi) l Amazon (mobi) l Kobo (ePub)

Limited edition hardback: Subterranean

Download a sample: Subterranean

If you’re in the UK or Europe and want a physical copy but are balking at the postage, Portal Bookshop is doing a group order—I suggest you contact them and ask them about a copy.

There is as of now no UK/Europe ebook: I know this is frustrating—it’s just the way that rights pan out (in this case, Subterranean has the exclusive North American rights).


A very brief update from me due to real life, as we have hit our second lockdown and a couple other things turn out to be challenging as well. I have finished one short story that was very overdue, and it’s now back to queer space pirates novella in the Xuya universe. So far, it’s going slowly but going ok.


I will be at the Hispacon 2020, with the following schedule:

Friday Nov 13th, 16h00: Interview with Leticia Lara

Saturday Nov 14th, 21h00: Ignotus Awards gala